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The phoenix is doing really well. Last night, all four chicks somehow climbed out of the box inside the brooder. Since they were going in and out as they pleased and all seemed to be getting along, I went ahead and just removed it. In addition to climbing, it's visibly more active now, walking and running around and just acting far more like a normal chick. Because the part of the injury that actually bled was around the toenail, I'm watching that to see if it falls off, but so far things are looking really good.

Unfortunately, the silkie died sometime in the past few hours. Its feather development was the least progressed of the new batch of chicks, so I'm assuming it was very young, probably only around a week old. Given that as well as the lack of any signs of disease, I suspect some sort of congenital problem.

I was going to just throw it away, but then was inspired to get the kids involved. I asked Enoch if he wanted to bury it instead, which he agreed to. I had picked up some strawberry plants at the farm store that I hadn't planted yet, so I told them we could plant one with the chick to remember it by. Everything was fine and the kids had fun "helping" dig the hole. Then, after the chick was in the ground and the strawberry planted over top, Enoch became agitated. "But what if the bugs get it!" he said. When I explained that the bugs were going to eat the chick, his face crumpled and tears started oozing down his cheeks. After some hugs and explanation of decomposition, he calmed down. He must be starting to get some inkling of what death really means. This is the first time he's reacted badly to any discussion related to it.

October 2012

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